Liverpool’s mental state has deteriorated since winning the Community Shield and completing the set under Jürgen Klopp, which is why new players are required
Jürgen Klopp has won all but one of England’s titles by the summer, having won the Premier League, Carabao Cup, and FA Cup during his spectacular Liverpool tenure. The German was appointed in 2015, and the Reds evolved under his direction to become champions in a variety of events.
He had preserved the same close-knit core of players throughout his period of success on Merseyside, and as the new season began at the end of July, Klopp and his guys completed the set. Liverpool took against Manchester City for the Community Shield, the only piece of trophy that has yet to be won.
The Reds won the one trophy needed to complete the set, although they appear to have altered since then. Liverpool, who were previously dubbed “mentality monsters” by their manager, has had a disastrous season so far this season.
They have been eliminated from both domestic cup competitions since winning the Community Shield, and they currently sit sixth in the Premier League table, having suffered three more defeats than ninth-placed Brentford. In the Champions League, Liverpool faces Real Madrid this week, and unless they can overcome a 5-2 deficit in the Spanish capital, they will be eliminated in the round of 16.
A variety of explanations have been advanced to explain Liverpool’s specific challenges. The aging midfield department has been criticised, as have injuries and a lack of transfer market investment. Darwin Gomez, Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk, and Trent Alexander-Arnold are just four players who have been accused for the team’s precipitous collapse at various points.
In actuality, it is plausible to believe that a variety of factors have contributed to Liverpool’s issues. Klopp is dealing with a number of concerns, one of which may be related to his Community Shield victory in July.
Since Klopp’s side virtually finished the set, they haven’t been anywhere near as mentally driven, as evidenced by their performance against Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon. The Reds traveled to the south coast to face the Premier League’s worst team, but they were defeated 1-0.
“I think, looking back, they definitely wanted it more than us, which is unacceptable, and we need to make sure this kind of stuff doesn’t happen again,” Alexander-Arnold said after the competition.
The statements of the Scouse defender made quite a statement, admitting that Bournemouth ‘wanted it more’ than Liverpool. That was not the case only six days prior, when the Reds thrashed archrivals Manchester United by an astonishing seven goals to nil.
That was a record-breaking triumph that exemplified one of Klopp’s main worries right now. For whatever reason, Liverpool’s application varies from week to week. Sometimes the players come up and deliver, and sometimes they don’t, with their best performances coming in games where they are practically considered underdogs.
This season, the Reds have beaten Manchester City, Manchester United, Napoli, and Newcastle United twice, with each of those teams recognized for being difficult to beat based on their strong performances over the previous eight months.
They have, however, been defeated by teams like as Nottingham Forest, Leeds United, Bournemouth, and Wolves. Away from home in the Premier League, Liverpool sits 12th in the table in terms of points per match, with the team appearing to be plagued by an odd underlying mentality issue.
Salah, probably his team’s most important player, put in his greatest performance of the season last weekend against Manchester United, scoring two goals and assisting on two others. Yet six days later, against the side at the bottom of the league, he was utterly anonymous and even missed the target from a penalty late in the game.
Simply simply, Liverpool does not appear to be as hungry as they once were on the field. Klopp must deal with the conundrum this summer, with Pep Guardiola unwittingly revealing what he must do.
In an interview with Rio Ferdinand last season, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was asked how he keeps players motivated to pursue greater success. “You’ve got to shake things up,” he said on BT Sport. “It’s nearly impossible with the same guys. We evolve.”
Klopp has a slew of trusted lieutenants in his team, but for Liverpool to reclaim its former ferocity, an upheaval of sorts at Anfield is required in the summer.